IBM in big data deal with aero-engine maker Pratt & Whitney

By Graeme Burton
17 Jul 2014 View Comments
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Aero-engine maker Pratt & Whitney is teaming up with IBM for a big data project in which data from some 4,000 commercial engines will be analysed in order to predict maintenance problems before they arise.

The arrangement will provide Pratt & Whitney customers with longer time "on-wing", complement current maintenance schedules, and deliver deeper insight into flight operational data.

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"This will enable us to accurately and proactively monitor the health of our customers' engines and give us further visibility to plan ahead for optimised fleet operations while reducing customers' costs," said Matthew Bromberg, president, Pratt & Whitney Aftermarket.

Pratt & Whitney claims that the programme will enable it to prolong engine life and reduce maintenance costs by up to 20 per cent.

The announcement was made at the Farnborough Airshow. "Today's aircraft engines can generate up to a half terabyte of data per flight. This data deluge can be made into a critical resource if coupled with predictive analytics, creating a valuable asset for early warning or fault detection and improved visibility in to the overall health of aircraft engines," said Alistair Rennie, general manager of business analytics at IBM.

He continued: "By applying real-time analytics to structured and unstructured data streams generated by aircraft engines, we can find insights and enable proactive communication and guidance to Pratt & Whitney's services network and customers."

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